Chapter 192: You can’t be the Grand Preceptor’s wife without being cruel Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Ning Xiaoyao spread her hands at Grand Preceptor Xie with a cheeky grin. “What should we do next?”
Grand Preceptor Xie couldn’t manage to say a thing in response. Ning Xiaoyao continued, “You can’t force my maternal grandmother to kill herself again, right? Playing at it once is more than enough, it’ll be too naughty if you try it again.”
While the people in the courtyard stood there, shrouded in silence, they stole sympathetic looks over at Grand Preceptor Xie. His Majesty might not be as shameless as Supreme Commander Lou, but he was definitely the expert at pinning the blame on the victim. Grand Preceptor, how are you supposed to win against opponents like them?
Grand Preceptor Xie was still thinking of his next line, so he didn’t speak. Elder Li then spoke up, “What Your Majesty means to say is that Xie Wenyuan forced his wife to commit suicide so he could falsely accuse Your Majesty of a crime against Your Majesty’s family?”
“That’s right,” Ning Xiaoyao said loudly. “That was exactly his motive!”
Her words just then caused Grand Preceptor Xie to speak up, “Coroner, was Lady Wang really unconscious earlier, or just faking it?”
The old coroner didn’t dare to lie and answered, “Her ladyship really was unconscious earlier.”
Grand Preceptor Xie chuckled coldly at that. “So, that’s how it is.”
Ning Xiaoyao was now the one who was left feeling at a loss . “Hold on, why are you saying ‘so that’s how it is’ now?”
“Your Majesty had been preventing this subject from verifying née Wang’s death the entire time,” Grand Preceptor Xie countered.
So what you’re saying is that I knocked Lady Wang unconscious, thus making you think that had she died. In other words, it’s still me being the one committing a crime against you?! Ning Xiaoyao had to admire her own insight. She could actually understand what Grand Preceptor Xie meant this time!
“You,” Ning Xiaoyao looked over at Grand Preceptor Xie. Now it was her turn to be speechless, again.
“Née Wang and this subject have been husband and wife since our youth. She’s also this subject’s first wife, so why would this subject have a reason to hurt her?” Grand Preceptor Xie said those words for the express benefit of Ning Xiaoyao and everyone else present. There was no one present who had a reason to hurt Lady Wang besides Ning Xiaoyao herself.
Ning Xiaoyao began to debate the merits of getting physical instead of verbal sparring. Lou Zigui then said, “I believe we can understand her ladyship’s pains.”
Grand Preceptor Xie looked up towards Lou Zigui, whose expression remained unruffled. In fact, he leisurely continued, “Her ladyship really did commit suicide…”
“Whaa?” Ning Xiaoyao exclaimed then. Why do you admit that née Wang committed suicide now? Supreme Commander, are you defecting to enemy? (TOT)
Lou Zigui squeezed Ning Xiaoyao’s hand so she wouldn’t get antsy, then continued. “Her ladyship did it all for the Xie Clan. After all, the reputation of the Xie Clan daughters would’ve been ruined otherwise.”
“Just what do you mean by that?” Elder Li asked when Lou Zigui had finished speaking. It looks like plenty of things happened in this courtyard today.
Lou Zigui didn’t even give Grand Preceptor Xie any chance to explain before outlining the private resentment between all of the Xie Clan daughters. His explanation was clearer and much more succinct than Ning Xiaoyao’s previous. Elder Li and the rest all looked towards the rogue laying on the ground, who was still trussed up like a pig. A Dragon Guard was stepping on his back to keep him pressed against the ground. In the silent courtyard, nobody said a thing.
Bribing an outsider to ruin one’s sister’s purity? That is just absolutely appalling!
As time stretched on, Ning Xiaoyao began to feel slightly awkward. Why isn’t anyone saying a thing? Isn’t someone going to curse a bit over something so terrible?
(Author: That’s only because they’re too shocked to speak, you know?)
“Grand Preceptor, conduct yourself well,” Lou Zigui tossed off a rejoinder before preparing to take Ning Xiaoyao away. Now that they had accomplished their goal, he couldn’t think of any more reasons as to why they should stick around.
“Nothing of the sort ever happened!” Lady Wang suddenly shouted out loud.
“Then, simply have the justice courts do a thorough investigation of the criminal,” Lou Zigui retorted coldly.
Currently, the entirety of the justice court’s men were now the ones feeling uneasy. How did we get tangled up in this mess? Even if we prove the ladies’ innocence, the fact that we’ve gotten involved with a family’s inner courts will completely ruin them. How could any literati family afford to take in a girl that had been tied to such a scandal?
Lady Wang crawled to her feet and knelt in front of Ning Xiaoyao as she sobbed. “Your Majesty, eldest young Miss and the rest of them are still young. They’re only girls of the boudoir, this wife begs Your Majesty to spare them!”
Ning Xiaoyao had darted behind Lou Zigui again. She absoutely hated it when people kneeled to her.
“Hoh~” Elder Li laughed coldly. “Why didn’t your Xie Clan remember that His Majesty was still a Son of Heaven who has not yet come of age when you accused him of forcing his grandmother to commit suicide? If her ladyship had really died and this old man begged the Grand Preceptor to spare His Majesty, would the Grand Preceptor be willing to do so?”
Lady Wang was rendered speechless by Elder Li’s frigid words.
“T-then what about all the blood on Lady Wang’s body?” one of the women in the courtyard asked suddenly. Ning Xiaoyao glanced over at her and saw only a lady dressed in rich robes. Anyone who would dare to speak up now was probably the mother of one of those Xie Clan daughters.
“Shut up!” Grand Preceptor Xie raged loudly.
Lou Zigui furrowed his brows and said, “Did anyone else die here at the Xie estate besides Old Madame Xie?”
“Xie Anshi?” Ning Xiaoyao suggested as she shrugged.
“He’s not dead!” Lady Wang shrieked.
The Lord Protector couldn’t help but to think that the Grand Preceptor and Lady Wang would only lose their minds if they kept on any longer.
“Then, go investigate,” Elder Li decreed.
“Xiaoyao,” A’Mo suddenly called out, causing Ning Xiaoyao to drop her eyes from the scene playing out before her and look towards him.
A’Mo said, “Cousin Magpie’s sitting in the tree in front of you.”
Ning Xiaoyao lifted her head and saw Cousin Magpie standing on a nearby cedar tree branch. He quickly flew up into the air.
“Do you think Cousin Magpie telling you to follow him?” A’Mo guessed.
Ning Xiaoyao sniffed the air, before motioning for a few of the Dragon Guards at her side. “Come with me.” Thus, she ended up running after the magpie with a bunch of guards. Grand Preceptor Xie gave her departing form a glance before shooting a meaningful look at one of his retainers. That retainer instantly turned tail and ran out of the courtyard.
Meanwhile, Elder Li merely observed the justice courts’ men and asked, “How are you men planning to investigate this?”
The official from the justice courts sorely regretting taking this case today. Am I even allowed to get involved in these kinds of things?
“This criminal,” Elder Li said as he pointed to the rogue pinned to the ground. “You should---”
Before he could finish, an arrow came flying toward the rogue from the wall directly opposite him. The Dragon Guard watching over the prisoner immediately sliced the weapon in half with his sword, but then five more arrows came flying in rapid succession. The guards managed to block four of them, but the fifth found its mark and sank into the rogue’s forehead and made him howl---before he died.
The sudden new development left many of the people in the courtyard ashen-faced. Dragon Guards rushed towards the possible location of the archer beyond the walls.
“Is Xie Wenyuan destroying the evidence by killing any and all witnesses?” the Lord Protector whispered to Lou Zigui.
The left side of Lou Zigui’s mouth drew up into a cold smirk. “He’s picking the lesser of two evils.” Since the authorities were already involved, then Xie Wenyuan had no choice but to pull this move to preserve his Xie Clan’s daughters’ integrity. It was his only path left.
A chill stole upon the Lord Protector’s heart at the realization. Fighting against Xie Wenyuan is truly difficult!
A Dragon Guard ran back into the courtyard to report to Lou Zigui. “The archer escaped.”
“This is the Grand Preceptor’s estate,” Elder Li smiled coldly. “Most likely the killer knew exactly where to flee.” Elder Li’s words stopped just short of branding the killer outright as one of Xie Wenyuan’s men. Still, Grand Preceptor Xie simply sat, unmoving, in his chair. His only goal was to have the man die; now that he’d accomplished it, he was rather satisfied. Elder Li could say whatever he wanted.
When the Lord Protector saw Elder Li and his disciples move to surround Grand Preceptor Xie, he then glanced at the direction where Ning Xiaoyao had run off from them and asked, “What did His Majesty leave to do?”
Lou Zigui shook his head. “That, I’m not certain.”
The Lord Protector creased his brows. “Aren’t you worried?”
Lou Zigui replied, “Not one of the Grand Preceptor’s men can beat His Majesty in a fight.”
“.......” said the Lord Protector. There’s no way I can counter that, now.
Meanwhile, Lady Wang had been standing quietly with her head bowed for so long that everyone was beginning to forget her very existence. Then she abruptly lost her mind and dashed in front of Grand Preceptor Xie. Elder Li was a scholar well-versed in manners, so he quickly moved out of the way at the sight of her frantic form. Lady Wang knelt next to Grand Preceptor Xie’s chair and rambled loudly, “Blood, human blood, His Majesty went to find the source of the human blood. This consort wants to ask, is His Majesty trying to track down a corpse?”
Grand Preceptor Xie stared at Lady Wang. Old Madame Xie’s body was still in the estate, but even Ning Yu wouldn’t be crazy enough to accuse Lady Wang of using Old Madame Xie’s blood on her face, right?
Lady Wang dropped her voice and murmured to Grand Preceptor Xie, “Young née Wang. This consort got rid of young née Wang.”
Grand Preceptor Xie’s heart rose from his chest to his throat.
“I haven’t sent the body away yet,” Lady Wang continued her rambling. Young née Wang had just died last night, while Ning Xiaoyao had charged her way in this morning. She really had no time to make arrangements for the dead body. Grand Preceptor Xie sat bolt upright in his seat, but his swollen state forced his body to slump back down into the chair again.
“Human blood,” Lady Wang muttered to herself. “Does His Majesty---does His Majesty know something!?”
By now, Ning Xiaoyao had already pushed open the doors to a room filled with luxurious ornaments and furniture. But the inside was so cool and clean that it was clear nobody was home.
“Whose house is this?” a Dragon Guard piped up, curious.
“The little white flower’s,” Ning Xiaoyao replied off-handedly. All of the Dragon Guards knew who that was---the only so called ‘little white flower’ in His Majesty’s eyes would have to be young née Wang from the Grand Preceptor’s estate. Ning Xiaoyao was about to enter one of the inner rooms when a few female servants rushed to intercept her.
“These are female chambers of the inner court,” an elderly female servant shouted. “You are all outsider males, how could you enter these rooms?!”
“.......” said the Dragon Guards. The Grand Preceptor’s servants certainly seem to have more guts than ordinary folk. Just who gave them the courage?
All of the female servants started shouting at the same time. Ning Xiaoyao simply tore the door off its hinges and tossed it aside, crushing the servants beneath it and silencing the din.
“.......” said the Dragon Guards. Fine, fine, His Majesty is still the most formidable one of all.
Ning Xiaoyao entered young née Wang’s bedroom, circling around the flowery folding screen to the room beyond. Although the lighting in the premises was dusky, both her and the Dragon Guards could clearly see a figure lying on the bed behind the bed curtains.
“Is that the little white flower?” a Dragon Guard asked doubtfully. We made such a fuss just then, yet she’s still asleep?
Ning Xiaoyao took a few strides to reach the bedside and removed the covers hiding young née Wang’s body. She was exposed, lying stiffly on the bed, black blood pouring from her seven orifices as her blank eyes stared at the ceiling. Her mouth was wide open in sheer terror at the time of her death.
“How...how could she be dead?” a Dragon Guard cried in alarm.
Ning Xiaoyao pursed her lips. How could she be dead? It’s all because Lady Wang killed her, that’s how. And she’s Lady Wang’s own niece to boot... As expected, you can’t be the Grand Preceptor’s wife unless you’re just as cruel!